On January 30th, the Office of Federal Student Aid released a statement that confirms FAFSA data will not be available for schools and state agencies until mid-March. The delay comes as further updates have been made to the process which calculate the new Student Aid Index (SAI). These delays specifically affect the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which is sent to the institutions listed on a student’s FAFSA to help calculate their eligibility for federal and state aid.
The office confirmed these issues and suggested the following steps:
Students will receive an email informing them that their FAFSA form has been fully processed and their FAFSA information has been sent to the schools they listed on their form.
Students who applied using the online FAFSA form will receive an email that they can access their FAFSA Submission Summary by logging in to StudentAid.gov using their account username and password.
The Department will send an email reminder to previous FAFSA applicants who have not yet submitted a 2024-25 FAFSA form.
Students will be able to make corrections to their FAFSA once their eligibility has been calculated and ISIR generated. Students may view their eligibility calculation by logging back into their Studentaid.gov account.
The Department will fully process paper applications in the weeks following.
This announcement comes at a traditional peak season for FAFSA submissions. Already this year, there have been significant issues and delays with the release of the new FAFSA, including several mistakes that led officials to realize that the entire calculation matrix for this year was based on economic data from 2020. Updates to the application are still pending, and notwithstanding any more delays, the application data will be accessible by the third week of March 2024.
While issues are still being rectified, students and families are still encountering many challenges and questions yet to be answered by the Office of Federal Student Aid. Mark Kantrowitz, author, and nationally recognized financial aid expert, says this will “cause delays in families receiving financial aid offers, which may make it harder for them to compare college costs. It is a real mess.”
Questions are continuing to mount for officials as issues persist in the 2024 FAFSA Application. If you, members of your community, or your children are preparing for school, and want to know how to navigate changes to the FAFSA, Central Scholarship will be hosting a FAFSA Help Session on President’s Day, 2/19/2024, from 1-3 PM, featuring experts Mark Kantrowitz and David Levy. Registration for the event will be free, and attendees will be able to submit questions ahead of time. Click here to register.